Mason Jars
Mason Jars

The jar's mouth has a screw thread on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring or "band". is one of the most important components in today's homes. All you have to do is go to the kitchen and the spice rack or open the refrigerator door and see the pickles, jams, mayonnaise, and so on. But how this important historical invention was formed and by whom? An inventor named John Mason spent most of his life on his Mason jar and made many inventions in this field. In this article, you will read about the history of this invention and its commercialization.


Modern life today has changed the human lifestyle. In modern life, there is greater participation of women in outside businesses, which let them less involved in cooking or preparing homemade food products. You probably may remember your grandmothers' pickles and homemade jams, something that is somewhat less common among the new generation of women!

The result of this change is the use of canned and ready-to-eat foods, as a trouble-free substitute compared to home-cooked food. However, the development of canned foods (both home and industrial) has had its ups and downs over years, and many inventors have helped us to use these beneficial products now.

This trend can be viewed from two perspectives. On the one hand, it is an attempt to produce industrial canned food that was invented in response to the continuing wars as well as scarcities caused by following conflicts. The roots of these innovative innovations go back to the 1800s and the French Wars led by Napoleon Bonaparte, who, with the launch of the competition with an award of $ 12,000, led to the invention of a new way of storing food by Nicolas Appert. In 1804, he poured down food into glass bottles and sealed their lids with special cork. Heating these jars delayed the spoilage of the contents, and thus, the first canned food in history was born!

Subsequently, a British businessman named Peter Durand followed the development and commercialization of Appert's invention, and with a minor innovation, including the use of tin sheets in the canning process, made happen a great turning point in the canning process. In 1812, less than a decade after the first invention of canned food, a fully commercial canning factory was established in England, and later in 1818, cans of food were shipped to the United States.

Although the industrial production of canned food was developed in Europe and the United States since the 1820s, however, there was still domestic production of food, which needed specific means for storing. The re-entry of inventors and innovators was to solve it. It is true that food producers, restaurateurs, and most people today are well aware of the importance of preserving food and its health and safety, but 160 years ago, many people were unaware of the potential dangers of spoiled and expired foods and vegetables which led to various diseases, including Botulism, Listeria, and E. coli.

The big problem with homemade canned food was not the preparation process, but the lack of a proper container to seal the food and ensure that air did not reach it. Air could cause the spoiling of many canned foods. This prompted a great inventor named John Landis Mason to think of inventing a kind of glass-lined container. This invention became so practical and popular that it was called "Mason Jar"!

Mason filed a patent No. US 19786 with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in March 1858. However, the problem of food safety was much deeper than a simple cap. Mason found that the problem could only be solved by designing a new container with grooves that matched the grooves of the lid. The jar's mouth has a screw thread on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring or "band". The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped steel disc-shaped lid against the jar's rim. It was from here that his focus shifted to designing and producing a complete glass container.

This innovation, which facilitated Mason's path to the final invention, was described in U.S. Patent No. 22129 on November 23, 1858. Eventually, Mason succeeded in achieving his goal by registering corrugated glass containers with the US Patent and Trademark Office on November 30 of that year and receiving a US 22186 patent. According to the description of this patent, an integral rubber ring on the underside of the lid creates a hermetic seal. This invention could effectively immortalize John Mason's name in the history of the industry. It should be noted that Mason did not stop at this point and, in addition to the above patents, continued to monitor the progress and improvement of his invention. In the following years, he experimented with various ideas on his vessels, the result of these innovative experiments being the US 115754 patent in June 1871 and the US 137461 and US 137462 patents in April 1873.


The interesting thing about the life of this great inventor was the lack of financial return from his creative invention. Most of the commercial products related to this invention were marketed in the years after 1879, the expiration date of Mason's original patent, and as a result, he could not make a significant fortune. He was not a rich man during his life.

 In 1880, one of the most prominent brands in the production of glass caps, Ball Corporation, was founded by five brothers. The company initially produced wood-lined tin cans to store paint, kerosene, and other chemicals. Four years later, the idea of ​​making homemade canned food containers came to one of the Ball brothers, and glass production based on John Mason's innovative designs began. Today, the company produces not only glass jars for food storage but also a variety of metal containers and even some aircraft parts.